Albacore Fishing Article

WESTPORT’S BEST KEPT SECRET – TUNA!

Off of the coast of Washington albacore tuna can be caught during late summer and early fall. The most popular and productive months for visiting anglers to go Westport albacore fishing is between August and September, although can be caught all during the summertime. Usually the weather is somewhat nice during the months of August and September and the albacore are usually more abundant during this timeframe.

Westport albacore fishing for visiting recreational anglers usually takes place between 50 and 100 miles off of the coast of Washington. Sometimes, but rarely, they have been known to come in as close as 15 miles, but occasionally the albacore will come in as close as 35 miles. Depending on the distance necessary to travel to the albacore tuna fishing grounds, recreational albacore fishing trips can last between one and three days.

Albacore fishing Westport usually catch these fish on liver bait and on jigs. The jigs are trolled behind the boat until they take the jig. Then the boat will drift while the visiting angler plays the albacore tuna that is caught on the jig. The visiting anglers who aren’t fishing for albacore tuna using a jig can fish for albacore tuna using light fishing tackle and a live anchovy for bait, while the albacore tuna that was caught on the jig is being played. The live anchovy bait will be placed on a single hook very carefully with little or no weight and will then be spooled freely out into the water until the albacore tuna strikes. Albacore tuna that are caught on live bait have a considerable amount of stamina that makes the battle last a long time and they are especially tenacious fighters that make them extremely fun to catch.

The State Department and the NMFS (National Marine Fishing Service) committed , on the international level, not to increase the fishing efforts in the United States above the current level, although there is currently, there is no bag limit on albacore tuna. The West Coast states are trying to determine if there should be bag limits on albacore tuna fishing in the future in order to prevent overfishing. California and Washington are currently considering bag limits for albacore tuna for their respective states while Oregon currently has an albacore bag limit of 25 fish. Westport albacore fishing believes in these laws. In order to fish for albacore tuna, a recreational fishing license is required. This requirement started in 2006. Visiting anglers can buy a multiple day stamp, a combination stamp, or a saltwater fishing license.

Between 2001 and 2005, the average catch for each recreational angler was 8.4 albacore tuna per angler, according to the OSP (Ocean Sampling Program) published by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that collected real data. During this same period of time, 53 albacore tuna per angler was the highest recorded catch. However, it is uncommon for a one angler to catch more than 23 albacore tuna. Westport albacore fishing averages between 10 and 20 albacore tuna per angler.

Approximately 27% of the total recreational albacore tuna catch on the entire coast is caught off of the coast of Washington. Oregon catches about 12% of the sport albacore tuna and California catches about 61% of the sport albacore tuna.

Most of this recreational catch is landed by Westport albacore fishing. Only about 10% of the albacore tuna catch occurred in Ilwaco, while 88% of the sport albacore tuna occurred in Westport in 2005. Although, there were some years that their catch of albacore tuna was less than 1%, the North Coast, such as La Push and Neah Bay, made up 2% of the recreational catch of albacore tuna in 2005.

On the Washington coast, the recreational albacore tuna catches in Washington is a matter of private anglers versus charter boat anglers. The fact is that those anglers who choose not to charter a boat, or private anglers, make up approximately 20% of the total anglers and usually don’t catch as many albacore tuna per angler as the charter anglers. Charter anglers averaged 9.6 albacore tuna per angler between 2001 and 2005, while private anglers only averaged 3.2 albacore tuna per angler during the same time period.

Westport albacore fishing on the Washington coast is becoming more popular every year. A total of 7,416 albacore tuna were caught by 884 anglers in 2000. However, 13,163 albacore tuna were caught by 1,509 anglers in 2005. The average catch per angler in 2000 was 8.4 albacore tuna while the average catch of albacore tuna per angler was 13.1 in 2001. The average catch of albacore tuna per angler was back down to 8.7 by 2005.